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Archive for the ‘Spanish’ Category

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I’ve been eating and drinking very good these last few days. Just a couple of quick updates:

  • Recently, I returned to Taberna Del Alabardero for a birthday dinner. While the food was good, we did find that it was not as tasty as the last visit. Overall, we were pleased with the meal. We ordered a selection of tapas, including octopus ceviche, sausage and cheese platter, cod fritters, stuffed mussels, deviled eggs topped with tuna, and duck foie gras. We also tried the marinated pork loin and oxtail paella.

    My favorites were the duck foie gras and the octopus ceviche. They also provide you with complimentary bread and olive oil. The one dish we were particularly unhappy with was the deviled eggs topped with tuna. Last visit, this dish was the stand out but this time it tasted very over salted.

    The atmosphere and service here are great, which makes it worth a visit. However, the food could be better for the price.

  • For Christmas, I made kartoffelpuffer, or German potato pancakes. I had bought a mix from the Christkindlmarkt and decided to finally make it. It was extremely easy and it turned out really well. The mix only cost $1.80 and makes about 15 pancakes. They turned out crispy and golden brown.

  • I was finally able to check out Fenwick Beer and Wine. I’ve been meaning to go here for months. I stopped in to grab some last minute gifts as well as beer for the Christmas weekend. It’s located just off of Georgia Avenue in a converted house.

    The selection here is fantastic! They had a huge range of beer and wine. They have an amazing selection of single beers so you can make your own 6-pack. My one complaint is that they did not provide any 6-pack holders, so I was carrying the beers around the store.

    However, this is my new favorite beer store. I read a few reviews on Yelp, and some people were complaining about the prices. I found the prices to be very reasonable. They offer hard to find beers, and you’d be hard pressed to find these beers anywhere else in the area.

    I picked up a 6-pack of Hibernator by Long Trail Brewing Company and Hibernation Ale by Great Divide Brewing company (notice a theme here?)

    I really liked the Hibernator. It’s a malt-heavy Scottish ale, and would pair perfectly with a hearty stew.

    This is the winter offering from Great Divide. It is aged for over three months each year, so they begin preparing it in July. It’s a very robust beer, and packs an 8% ABV.

    I also picked up a few individual bottles. Three were gifts, one was to share.

    I grabbed a bottle of Lord Wimsey’s Mild Pale Ale. It’s made for people who do not like tons of hops. This is a good, light beer for when you don’t want something too hoppy.

    I also bought a couple of gifts:

    I mentioned how much I liked the store and their selection, and they gave me some goat cheese from Cherry Glen as a Christmas present. This cheese is made in Boyd’s, MD and is delicious.

    I also bought some chocolate for my family, as they had a nice selection by the register.

    Overall, this is an excellent beer store when you are looking for something a little different. I will certainly be back.

  • A friend of mine shared a bottle of Cockeyed Cooper by Uinta Brewery with me. It’s a barley wine aged in bourbon barrels.

    I really enjoyed this beer. It’s a heavy beer with an 11% ABV. This is a great beer to sip on and pairs well with cheese and dessert.

  • Last week, I picked up a 6-pack of Starr Hill’s The Gift. This is their winter beer, and it is excellent. It’s a German-style Hellerbock, meaning it does not contain a large amount of hops. This is one of the best winter beers that I’ve ever had.
  • While on the topic of beer stores, I recently returned to Wheaton Winery on University Boulevard. I’ve been here before, but never really paid much attention to it. Elbe’s is usually my go-to beer store. However, the selection here has greatly improved. I picked up a 6-pack of Butternuts Beer which included 2 Pork Slap, 2 Heinnieweisse Weissebier, 1 Moo Thunder Stout, and 1 Snapperhead IPA.

    They also have a really good selection of wine, champagne, and sake. The prices here are also excellent. The only downside is the parking is tricky in this shopping center.

  • I had a lot of time to kill yesterday and decided to go for a walk around Wheaton. I walked through Mangos Market, which I plan to come back to and order some food one of these days. I also stopped in to Rumba Y Carbon on Grandview Avenue for a beer. It’s a fairly big place with a bar, a good amount of tables, and also a stage. I sat at the bar and ordered a Corona for $2.50. They were playing soccer and movies on the TV’s. Bartender asked me if I wanted to see a menu but I declined, so I can’t comment on the food. The bartenders were really nice, as were the other people sitting at the bar. I can’t say I’ll hang out here every day, but it’s not a bad place at all.
  • Last night, I was looking for a place to watch Monday Night Football with a friend of mine. We were going to go to Limerick Pub, but they were closed for the holidays. We decided to go to Legends, which is a few doors down. There were a good amount of people in there for a Monday night. We sat at the bar and watched most of the game, but then decided we wanted to play pool. We payed $9 for an hour of pool. There are plenty of tables, although they aren’t in the best shape. This is a fun place to meet up with friends, have a couple beers, and watch football, but it does not fill the sports bar niche that Wheaton desperately needs. However, I like this place and like hanging out here occasionally.
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Taberna Del Alabardero

On Saturday, I was invited to a birthday dinner at Taberna Del Alabardero. It’s a Spanish tapas restauraunt located on I Street NW in Washington, DC. We really liked the look of the place, with its high ceilings and red walls.

We were seated and placed our order for tapas and paella. They also give you as much bread, cheese, and olives as you’d like. They leave a bottle of olive oil on the table for dipping your bread. We all agreed that their olive oil tasted better then Italian olive oil. For tapas, we tried:

Deviled Eggs Stuffed with Tuna served with a Red Potato Vinaigrette and Fried Arugula – This was an absolute hit. We actually ordered two orders of this because it was so good.

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Braised Oxtail – This was my personal favorite. The oxtail was very tender and flavorful.

Marinate Dogfish Fritters with Creamy Tomato Sauce – The best part about this dish is that the dogfish was flash fried so they actually tasted very light. I also really liked the dipping sauce.

Jamón Serrano and Manchego Cheese – This was very thinly sliced ham with cheese. Very good, but a little pricey for what you get.

Marinated Octopus, Scallops, Mussels, Shrimp, Peppers and Onions – This was a seafood salad. Very good and fresh tasting.

Andalusia Style Fried Calamari – This was another one of my favorites. The calamari was delicious, and it came with this dipping sauce that took it to the next level.

We also ordered some paella because Saturday was the last day of their paella festival. We ordered the paella with suckling pig. It was very tasty, and they provided lemons to squirt over the food to give it a little kick.

We also ordered a few Spanish beers that paired perfectly with tapas. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the beer they were serving. However, if you find yourself checking this place out, make sure you try a few.

We mentioned to the server that we were celebrating a birthday, so they brought out a strawberry with a candle in it surrounded by cookies. They also gave her a bottle of olive oil to take home.

Being that the bread, olives, and cheese are free, you can have a really great meal, be totally satisfied, and not break the bank.

Taberna Del Alabardero on Urbanspoon

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